I’ve completed and printed the first draft of my book. It’s 55 pages of 8X10 sheets of paper and 23 196 words. Memoirs should be 30 000 to 50 000 words so I have some embellishing to do but I’m very pleased. I didn’t fall into the trap of making all the chapters the same length either. There is a very wide range. Now I need to find a good editor. I’ve been given the name of a (fairly) local company.
Writing a book can be challenging but I certainly was familiar with my subject matter since it’s about my daughter, Justine’s life from birth to her death at aged 29. Justine had bipolar disorder and there are many stories to tell about her search for help and acceptance in a world that likes to sweep mental illness under the carpet. My goal is to bring some of the stigma into the limelight in order to create change. My husband and daughter will read it first and will offer feedback. I certainly didn’t want to sugarcoat the issues but at the same time I had to protect Justine’s dignity. It was a fine line.
I’m calling the book, “Not My Story To Tell” for that reason. Justine was very honest and public about her life because she knew her disease was just as deserving as any other, but society doesn’t accept mental illness as easily as others such as cancer or diabetes. I always thought she might talk about her life in an open forum since she did have public speaking talent. She was killed last year in a car accident. Now it’s up to me to carry on her legacy.